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LYRICS

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THIS SOUL CAN'T SOLDIER ON

this life is following a dead end, but now i know enough to pretend and subscribe to simple repetition.

i'll say things that i do not mean because there's no eyes on this scene, unless the blues are offering.

 

the bottom will fall out.

until then, i'll be turned down.

 

you made it so easy.

without dusk, there's no dawn.

but you made it so easy so i sing my hate.

 

i've worn out from cover to cover volumes of notes from the others - i guess you'd call them my brothers.

maybe i'll have to focus on projects that don't involve sad songs until my pigment is all gone.

 

the bottom will fall out,

but not before i drown.

 

this soul can't soldier on.

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COMMEMORATING A TOXIC LIFE

i've always been an unfortunate thing,

always polluting and self-destructing.

you want to fix me so bad.

 

crickets remind me of one peaceful place

i haven't been and i almost can't wait.

she wanted to fix me so bad.

 

if you really know me, you'll back away slowly,

purge all our memories and watch me implode

because when i get lonely, the quiet consoles me,

or maybe controls me, and i give in, mostly.

i take my time on my walk to the edge

in disgrace, reviled, and retreat to my head with silence.

 

when i go, this will be my lone redeeming legacy.

all the rest is just dark and angry poison, as you know.

 

all i am holding is your hand in mine, and secrets, frustration, and regret sometimes.

but take the former with a bit of salt, and the latter are truly not your fault.

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AFTER CONTEMPLATING GRACE

i hear history in the most convenient way,

like why there's so much space between heaven and this place

where you like to smoke your cigarettes in pain while you decay.

and i'm dispensable, but still, i stay,

 

and that's not so, but it does resemble truth.

some candor can be concentrated into absolutes.

time changes everything, they say, though misinformed.

it seems that all this distance to which we have both conformed

 

won't fade. the quiet is so striking.

i've laid in waste, in silence, contemplating grace,

and my, it's a marvel to behold.

so i'll be fading and contemplating grace.

 

my observations through the years have led me to conclude

that you will always find a way to hide some sides of you,

but when the clouds roll in, i notice in their hanging gloom

that you are offered consolation, or some deja vu.

 

your eyes are heavy to the point you tend to keep them low

while your broken body struggles to carry the load,

but i know that i am still the punchline to the joke.

 

the letters in your skin tell such a somber story

including distractions, ambition, and unmentioned things.

we've both had our missteps and i've run my mouth,

but these embers of ours, i think they're out.

 

our attempts at engagement are vain, but we know what's been left unspoken

with our toils and troubles in tow, we keep our glasses half-full.

not even faintly do we show remorse in our lurid reflections,

and although I'm not bearing these charms, you should consider me armed.

 

now you imagine that you outlast your past and your flashbacks combat the black

instead of reminding you that the time that you spent trying to find

some meaning in the misery is leaning toward frivolity -

i know this because it's killing me.

you owe it to the mystery to shake the tree of breaking free

from the sordid performers who wore your core sore

and chased you to a place of wasting face, waist and base

on the folks who at most stoke the smoke that evokes your false hope.

i won't call you by name, but through your migraines, i feel you've explained

some of the pain in a way that contains the refrains of your DNA.

not that my tower is ivory - it's dour what's inside of me

and sour is what many see in my hours of indecency

so i won't be pretending that I'm extending some unbending advice for ascending this life,

but i do believe that though our souls grieve, we know that we were born deceived:

never will there arrive a time that you and i are side by side

or even reside in each others minds so i'm resigned to leaving our twine untied.

i guess what i'm saying is i'll forever be weighing this and delaying what I'll miss

when i at last dismiss an auspicious wish that's gone amiss

because i'll always relate to the place where my heart raced as i traced your face while contemplating grace.

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STILL A VILLAIN

"it's spring again," i notice with a sigh,

suggesting that impressions are not wont to hide.

it's spring again.

 

"it's spring again," i mutter to myself,

pretending to recall how optimism felt:

certainly warmer than now

with a hint of imminence underground.

 

i'm starting to sense the warnings in it's wind:

i'll never see another new thing begin.

at times like this, ignorance is bliss,

though i view platitudes like you do this rift:

shaded with conceited attitude that's at best ambivalent.

 

if the rumors are true, then this is a postmortem -

not your most surprising move in the face of aging boredom.

so allow me to be indirect, exhausting and unclear:

i suspect i don't have anything constructive left to share,

but i will finally say this with sarcasm removed:

i don't know you this spring, but good luck with thirty-two.

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ROOTED (ROTTED)

these roots are deep and these roots spread wide -
everything to excess, like some kind of self-inflicted punishment.
i keep your words in my ribcage sometimes.

a diamond and a bat on the twelfth fret.
your edges are faded and your strings are rust and faded.
i dread these thoughts of you and us, each smell and each touch bleeds colors from the cuts.

the waves that crash on the shores of your mind pull you to sea, one grain at a time.
we orbit the same body, but on different planes in different songs.
i don't turn the page for hours on end because every line gets stuck in my head.
we all break at some point and then rebuild ourselves to do it again.

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WE DON'T HAVE A PLACE IN THE STARS

i have things of yours that you can never get back,
like time and tears and miles and secrets from your past, 
not to mention every shred of your innocence.

the windows of your heart are battened for me, 
but we both cut our teeth and knees on the same streets,
so here's to you and me and what we used to be.

i swear, these start as angry songs, but they always turn sad,
because I've got this unshakable, misplaced faith in our spark.

and I think I'll always carry this torch for you while you hold on to nothing but rancor.
yes, I think I'll always carry this torch while you just try to forget.

you flag's been flying at half mast and you can't hide it, it's been four and a half years of mourning through a thin veil of tact.


don't forget that leaving was your call, and now I fear that our place in the stars is more likely six feet underground.

i swear, these start out as angry songs, but they always turn sad,
because this familiar silence turns to familiar black.

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SILVER AND GOLD (SHIVER AND COLD)

we shiver through our empty sheets on tired springs in lonely suites
and i wake up in your dawn's new dew, but i don't have faith and I don't have you.

my conversations with constellations are lacking tact,
and i walk a widow's walk on most nights and i see that

there is no light, there is no life in the world below me.
and we were safe, but bound, misplaced, but found in morning's bright eyes.

carefully listen and you'll hear the songs of muted damp.
so take my blood, my only muse. It's shades of black and shades of blue.

you keep the things that make you hurt in a music box, and the tempest of your spirit shakes the docks.

collapsing stars have fates like ours, or so they've told me.
we keep the company of misery and all his colleagues.

something calls, yes, something crawls to me from somewhere
that is cold and still and i know i will see you there.

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HUSKS AND EMPTY THINGS

there's no difference between ghost tales and love stories:
nothing but pale-eyed dreams with grieving and white sheets.

with every darkened sky, and a little lie,
with every darkened sky, another day goes by without thinking about you. 

we're husks and we are empty things but I'm letting it go and not thinking about you.

it's hard to feel much hope beyond a chair and rope.
i don't feel like I did. you don't feel anything.

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SUMMER SONG WITH RAIN

everybody wants directions to somewhere far away from home
but i won't tell you my prediction because you want to keep the hope.


if i live tomorrow, it's sins and sorrows.

so i'll close my tomb while you're in bloom,
i'll close my tomb and i'll assume that i will wilt away while you grow.

singing summer songs is hiding the things i'm really trying to say,
so let's talk about bereavement and giving everything away.


it's hard to swallow that our hearts are borrowed.

so i'll close my tomb while you're in bloom,
i'll close my tomb and i'll assume that i will wilt away while you grow.

seasons come and seasons go, 
i am a season, you should know.


not tonight, maybe in another life.


i'll close my tomb while you're in bloom,
i'll close my tomb and i'll assume that i will wilt away while you grow.

 

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WELL AFTER QUIET HOURS

we erode at different rates, i memorize you and your shape.
i'll plant your memory somewhere safe from the elements and fate.


then i collided with your black sky aesthetic
and spent the night charting your skin.

and the sunrise paints you in warm colors that i don't relate to
and now you're just another night that i wish i'd never met.

i'll sing to you from this distant coast, i know you're not listening though.
i think of quiet hours in the dirt below the monument.


your voice echoes somewhere on the horizon and suddenly, the music starts.

there's nothing serendipitous about this,
we knew it all along.

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ONCE A VILLAIN, ALWAYS A VILLAIN

headlines boast that we’re out of luck
because this neighborhood’s just not the same,
and when you get that look and turn all blue in the face,
lawyers of the highest esteem couldn’t argue your denial.


what a flattering impression of caring about me,
like the most depressing fairy tale.


so good luck with twenty-two in a most sarcastic way,
and no i’m not your classic gentleman
because when you go, i’ll leave you with that classic hangover,
and some good old fashioned withdrawal.


we’re a slow swing in the spring,
full swing into halftime.
and all that certificate says is “my best days have passed”
and another dose of vaccine won’t keep away the feeling.


all i see is green, it must be the villain that’s inside of me.
we are the skeletons clawing at your closet door,
old habits die hard.

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BAD NEWS FOR BLUE EYES

can you hear the whispers in the woodwork?
or the secrets that are climbing the stairs?
this house hums a cadence, but i doubt you’ve ever heard it before.


so tell me, what will make you shake these days,
aside from restless nights and restless minds?


we are just shadows of our former selves,
whose ghosts seem to wander through these scarred, old halls.
and time’s had it’s way with us.


we’re composed of so many famous last words,
all so genuine and counterfeit,
and where’s all that loyalty you always carried on and on about?


so tell me, what has been your best disguise?
don’t pin it on that hollow-hearted smile.


reading your old notes is having your fossils in my hands,
only no curator gives a damn.

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DEATH, TAXES, AND LOSING ALL YOUR FRIENDS

i’m no more the vindictive type than dorian is vain,
and it’s not really jealousy,
it’s more of a friendly heads up that your idols are false,
and of course that’s a “friendly” with a big pair of quotes.


i’m not going to win any diplomacy contest,
and i’m getting sick of trying.


here’s to you and your ex-prodigy for giving up on me,
lying and cheating in the gloried name of liars and cheats.
they’re all going to figure you out,
whether it’s one way or another.


i hope you’ve enjoyed your coronation,
because before too long, we’re going to forget everything about you
but you know the heart of deceit
is always open to a two-face like you.


every night, i remind myself at least i’m not you,
because your conversations are pathetic in stereo.

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LETTERS FROM HOME

last night i dreamed that you were right where i wanted you,

and you were leaning on me at the bar.

instead, i'm in the corner by myself looking down at my sneakers,

the ones you picked out for me.

wasting yourself like this is such a shame,

and yeah, i am a child and i'll never change.

i wonder if he'll notice the space on your bedroom wall

where our picture used to hang,

and maybe then you'll realize

you haven't smiled like that since.

but what's the point at this point?

i have to ask, what does your mother think of him?

and by the way, you know that place is a sham?

birds sing to remind you he's just filling your empty nest,

can't we just fast forward to where you figure this out?

hiding yourself like this is such a shame.

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YOU'RE KILLIN ME, SMALLS

everything is gone, everything has changed,

i punched my own ticket for this guilt trip.

he makes you so happy, i get it.

if this is the plan, then count me out.

 

to hell with your resentment, its got nothing on mine.

so tell me all about him.

 

don't let your jaw hang honey,

you're so much prettier in poise.

oh nostalgia, ill do anything you say.

 

pace the hallway and wait for him to get home,

we've had out last late night; its colder, not closer.

you still smell like me, i know it.

its lose-lose for me, which means you win-win.

 

just say it, you're leaving, or you're already gone.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH CHILDHOOD HEROES (FLASHBACKS AND MIGRAINES WITH THE PATRON SAINT OF GIRLS LIKE YOU)

were a touch medicated, and count on doc to keep us ageless,

but with all the same flaws,

dog-eared volumes of the cheapest fiction

in a flat out sprint down the tarmac after my sweet sixteen.

cutting curfew and hemorrhaging our days like devouts,

you may have figured out the argot, but i doubt you have the heart.

i think its time you come home,

because we've become a bunch of hopeless romantics, minus the romance.

yes, its time for bed, sleepyhead,

get that car up to eighty-eight.

got these prayers down to a science, but put god's face on the milk cartons,

if the world is a stage, i'm way off the key and a deer in the headlights.

wedded to this crusade, ill only entertain bribes in the form of you.

half my friends i recall by some lie or another, or their new time zones,

but i never did recover from leaving you crying in the street.

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THIS WHOLE SCENE IS A GHOST TOWN

since when are you characters in someone else's story?

and you're not a solution to our problems,

you're just another problem.

if you're wondering why this applause sounds more like crickets,

then maybe you should consider how that white flag hangs

from every word you say.

and it feels like i'm the only kid still kicking,

i'm the only one who still believes,

you all sound just like the folks you hoped you'd never grow up to be,

so i guess its up to me.

if this is just a tomb, then there is only room enough for me,

and i bet that you carry pictures of yourselves inside your lockets.

if you're wondering why this applause sounds more like crickets,

then maybe you should consider that you're just impostors of our former idols.

maybe i'm just renting this whole scene, but at least i'm not selling it out.

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YOU DESERVE THIS ENOUGH TO MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT I PROBABLY DON'T

i've been tracing your outline on my wall

because our silhouettes look like the valentine skeletons,

only more sincere.

it seems like everybody's falling in love, but not like this,

and everybody's got plans, but not like these.

i want to speak every dialect of you,

and hang you in each gallery.

i will concede, i've been conspiring to lock you down forever.

i force myself to sleep just to see you again,

so reluctantly beautiful, like bad news has a gun to your back

and a grip on your throat.

watch the sun set on our favorite scars,

and take your hand on a crashing plane,

just to make sure we don't spend another moment apart.

i feel like we should be filmed in black and white and called a classic.

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SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS

at best this is me dodging a bullet and at worst i'm giving myself away again,

but most of the time, i'm just a narcissist in pessimists clothing, or a string of one liners.

considering all the other stuff i'm on,

i've gotta find a way to stay off you,

despite my pitiful self restraint.

sooner or later, this will all haunt me,

and lately i've been the flagship of regret.

take it or leave it, but my reputation says i dont write love songs,

i ruin them.

i'm throwing the fight, so yea were going down,

and i'm like a pin up junkie, and you are my dealer.

its so hard not to act dumb and reckless when i'm so young and helpless,

not to mention a liar.

charges are pending and you're the key witness,

so don't blame me for doing what i do best.

in due time you'll think of me as another misstep,

or maybe you're already there.